Art reflects what we experience but when our experience is something other than positive or sanguine, how do we make that art fit into our lives?
This week has been unnerving, to say the least. I’ve waited until Sunday morning before deciding whether to post what I’d planned or wait. I won’t argue that what we have to share this week doesn’t fit with national or local tragedies. I don’t have anything in my archives that would. However, I’m not convinced matters will have improved by next week, nor the week after. So, I’m sharing in the hopes that, perhaps, in some moment separate from the chaos filling our conscious existence, the pictures might provide a distraction, a different vein of thought, perhaps even a twinkling of amusement that helps in some small way to carry us all forward.
I created this week’s images, perhaps unsurprisingly, in response to the global pandemic that, despite all other distractions, continues to take lives around the globe. This morning’s verified numbers are that 6.05 million people have been confirmed to have the virus. 369,000 of those people died. 105,000 of those deaths were in the US. 1,850 were in Indiana. COVID-19 is no respecter of race, gender, religion, or political persuasion. Diseases are like that. They don’t care who they infect.
The first six images reflect how the virus takes a beautiful life and distorts, consumes, and obliviates that existence. The last three images shift to the softness of our response. Sure, there’s some caution and some urgency, but we’ve colored our attitudes and responses with excuses and misinformation and a complete suspension of belief in science so that we’re convinced it’s no big deal and you’re not going to notice the body is on fire unless you look closely.
I like the finished works and probably, eventually, will make them for sale. You’ll want to keep checking our catalog at Saatchi Art for those updates. What occurred to me, though, as I was working on the first piece, is that art addressing challenging topics can be difficult to place in a room. Showing the art by itself in a staged room didn’t quite provide the aesthetic experience I want to share. So, I pulled out some design templates and created mood boards for each image with different ideas for colors and textures that might match well with the photograph.
Does one decorate a room around an image representing such an unpopular and rather depressing topic? One certainly doesn’t furnish a room to clash with such an image! If we find the artistry in the photograph, I see no reason to not work the room in which it hangs so that everything is complimentary.
The problem with digital mood boards, though, is that they really don’t give one any sense of the image’s detail. So, I’m giving you both the image and the mood board. Depending on what size device you’re viewing these, the layout will either be helpful or leave you scrolling down forever. I’m not responsible for the failings of your electronics.
These images do not take away any angst or worry one might have regarding current events. They do nothing to address the violence nor the systemic racial injustice. These photographs are a distraction. I hope they provide you an experience void of pain.